A recent Quinnipiac poll came out that had me shaking and scratching my head, while muttering under my breath interspersing the muttering with … “Hmmmm …” and “Say WHAT???”
Now, before I get into the poll results that I find either confusing or unconscionable, let me pose a question for you … and this is one I would like you to ask of some of your friends who support the Republican Party …
If I am taking my trash to the curb and see your young child or grandchild playing in the street just as a large truck comes careening from the other direction, and if I run out and grab your child/grandchild out of harm’s way, what is the first thing you will say to me when I deliver your child/grandchild safely to your door? Will you ask me whether I am a Democrat or a Republican? Or will you simply thank me for saving your child/grandchild’s life? Take a minute with that one, for I pose that we are so politically divided in this nation today that we have lost sight of what is most important to us. I further pose that if you were a Republican and I said I was a Democrat, you would immediately start thinking of ways that the near miss must have somehow been my fault, rather than your own for allowing your child/grandchild to play out of your sight.
Political leanings seem to matter far too much these days. For instance, when asked if they approved or disapproved of the way President Biden is handling his job, 79% of Democrats approved, as compared to only 4% of Republicans. 92% of Republicans disapproved, and 4% were still scratching their heads and saying, “Huh? Who?”
The numbers improved ever so slightly when respondents were asked whether they approve or disapprove of Biden’s handling of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with 81% of Democrats approving, and a whopping 15% of Republicans approving. 77% of Republicans disapprove of the president’s handling of the war and 8% were scratching their heads saying, “Huh? What’s Ukraine?”
This poll included 19 questions and I found the results both predictable, but at the same time stunning (not in any good way). This nation, it seems to me, is so divided that the two sides almost represent separate nations in both their thoughts and actions. It’s as if we are not even seeing the same set of circumstances, or as if we are looking through lens of different colours and levels of distortion. And the head scratchers, those who have no opinion, puzzle me most of all. HOW IN HELL can you have ‘no opinion’ or ‘don’t know’ about such things as the most important issues facing the nation today (#4). How can one ‘not know’ if they have changed their vacation plans this year due to the rise in fuel prices??? And yet, 3% of those polled said they didn’t know. Seriously, these people must have scabs on their heads from so much head-scratching!
There were some areas where Democrats and Republicans were not that far apart, such as the question (#9) about whether they were paying more, less, or about the same amount of attention to the war in Ukraine as the crisis has deepened. The two parties were very nearly matched on that question, as well as the one (#12) about the level of concern that Russia would launch a nuclear weapon against the U.S. But for the most part, the answers were worlds apart, and that, my friends, is the problem in this nation today. We do not seem to see the world through the same lens, we do not seem to have the same goals, the same hopes for the future. We are almost as two completely different species.
Six little words say it all …
It’s an old, old quote, attributed to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop, both directly in his fable The Four Oxen and the Lion and indirectly in The Bundle of Sticks. I think it is relevant, prophetic even, to our situation in the United States today and going forward. I don’t pretend to know what will happen in the next 20-30 years … heck, I can’t even predict what will happen in the next 20 minutes. But I can say with a great deal of certainty that our current situation is untenable. Will it lead to a new civil war, will it lead to the U.S. as we know it today breaking into two or more warring nations? How many lives will be lost, families destroyed, because the two sides cannot agree on virtually anything? This nation is headed for a cliff … can we set aside our differences and instead look for common ground? Will we before it’s too late?